The mission of the awards is to acknowledge cars that are best suited to fulfill the needs of a sports lifestyle. The best cars for stowing bicycles, kayaks, golf clubs, and other sports gear are conveniently recognized for overall design, engine power, cargo space, and fuel-efficiency.
“While most ‘Car of the Year’ competitions focus on various aspects of vehicle performance, we are more concerned with how well the vehicle helps to enhance our performance as athletes,” said Nina Russin, co-founder of the ALV awards. “We evaluate how easy it is to load bicycles into the cargo area, or to clean the upholstery after an especially muddy trail run. We want to know if a sport-utility vehicle designed to go off-road can ford water, and if it can maintain directional control when one or more wheels is off the ground."
Ms. Russin also stated that the program provides a good way for automakers to have constructive feedback from consumers living active lifestyles.